Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire, Scotland - first show (20.02.2004)

 

Source: Graham Knight

Jerry went on stage at 10.40 and as soon as he appeared the whole audience stood to acclaim him. Jerry acknowledged the response from the crowd and sat down at the 7 foot long Yamaha piano and launched into a great version of "Trouble In Mind". At the end of the number he said it was good to be back in Scotland and said he had been away too long. Personalities from Scotland's leading football teams and Snooker ace Stewart Hendry were among the famous faces paying 299 pounds (540 dollars) to see the first night of the "Generations Tour 2004". Kenneth and the band were augmented by the addition of Jimmy Rip who played some devastating solos. Several record company executives were there and two were keen to record Jerry. He said, "If you've got the money - I've got the time".

The second number was "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee". Then came a surprising long instrumental of "In The Mood", that had several young ladies dancing in front of Jerry. Jerry told them "You dance very sexily - I feel my socks rolling down!". Then it was "Georgia", followed by "Mean Woman Blues" in response to requests in the dressing room from Terry and me.

The numbers that followed were "Jealous Heart", a long 9 minute version of "Blues at Midnight" that featured great swoops on the keyboard from Jerry and some sensational solo from Jimmy Rip. Jerry praised Jimmy Rip for producing the new "Old Glory" album and several times deferred to Jimmy "To make him work". During the number Jerry invited longtime fan Rob Swinnerton up on stage to shake his hand! He then played a few licks in Chet Atkins style and Jerry remarked "He was ok at what he did but he didn't have the staying power and keeled over. I am still here". This got a great cheer and the songs just kept on coming: Mexicali Rose, CC Rider with Kenneth on the fiddle!

Then Jerry said he was "glad to be a free man again. I can do what I want. Free as the breeze do what I please." Then another surprise: Jerry did "Hadicol Boogie" and even included "wrap it up and I'll take it" in the words. "Chantilly Lace" came next and Barry Gamblin shouted for "Ubangi Stomp". Jerry said "That's a good one!", but instead of doing the number he invited Blondell up on stage and they reprised the duet they did in Memphis a couple of years ago singing "Lawdy Miss Clawdy", then both continued with a duet on "Great Balls of Fire". Jerry spoke about John Lennon saying it was the greatest record ever made and he agreed with him!

Being in Scotland, I expected Jerry to sing "My Bonnie" and he did! He then reprised another very different version of "Blues at Midnight". He then took a request from me for "What D' I Say" and he did a great version.

The time was now midnight and Jerry had been on stage for 1 hour and 20 minutes when he went into "Down The Line" and followed it with a great performance of "I'll Sail My Ship Alone". Then it was "Before the Night is Over", "Mr Sandman". And "Me and Bobby McGee". The last being a powerful rendition complete with all the proper changes. The last number was "Whole Lotta Shakin'" and Jerry left the stage at 12.15 to another standing ovation.

Quite a night altogether and a great start to the tour.

Terry, Barrie, Tex and myself were invited to Jerry's room after the show. I am pleased to report that Jerry is in excellent health, and he is very happy with life in general. He is pleased with the new album and can't wait for it to be released! He is like us!

For two and a half hours the five of us have been talking and Jerry has been playing the piano almost non-stop. Mainly old Jolson numbers and songs from the 40's plus some great spirited renditions of gospel songs. He played numerous songs that we suggested.